The post-Cold War era has been lastingly characterized by a phenomenon commonly referred to as the proliferation of international courts and tribunals. In the course of this development, not only has the overall role of international adjudicative bodies increased with a view to the advancement of international law, but rather have these institutions increasingly been regarded as genuine actors on the international plane. While scores of scholarly contributions in recent years have thus referred to these international courts and tribunals as actors, it has remained rather vague and ambiguous what this insinuated ‘actorness quality’ essentially entails and which criteria may be consulted in order to designate an international adjudicative body the status of a genuine actor in international relations.

Situated within the broader framework of an ongoing interdisciplinary PhD project, the talk will offer an invitation to reconsider the overall meaning of actorness in international relations and to elucidate on the changing role of international criminal courts and tribunals in contemporary international law.